Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Weeknd-Echoes of Silence


Haven't listened to it yet, but thought I'd share it with you anyways! The Weeknd's newest creation: "Echoes of Silence". Check it out, and let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Song of the Week: "Artsy" by The Grouch


 A little backlash against the hipster/artsy movement. So awesome.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Donald Edward Bragg & Diane Sims Bragg Scholarship

The UCLA Economics Department has a variety of resources that benefit Economics and Business Economics majors. There are some great scholarships and internship programs that I wish I had looked into earlier in my career at UCLA. These include the Sharpe Fellows Program which gives students an opportunity to work closely with a mentor. I suggest that all UCLA students (and all college students for that matter) check out their department's website regardless of the their major. They won't regret it.

That's the beauty of a big institution like UCLA. It teaches you to be proactive and to seek out things even you didn't know you were looking for. I was a little late in the ball game, but didn't hesitate to jump onboard once I knew what was out there.

I applied for The Donald Edward Bragg and Diane Sims Bragg Scholarship over the summer and was delighted to find out on 9/16/2011 (my brother's 25th birthday) that I was the 2011-2012 recipient! I don't know how many people applied for the award, but it nonetheless feels amazing to be honored for my academic achievements.

Check it out here.

(Caution: The website designer either really likes my picture or had a little trouble on the design end of things because my "headshot" is GIGANTIC. My apologies on his/her behalf)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Versace Kind of Affair


Last week, my boss, the VIP/PR Coordinator of the West Coast, went to NYC to help at the launch party for the Versace for HM collaboration. I wasn’t asked to go along with her, so I stayed in the LA office and made sure things were running smoothly.

That same week I had rehearsals for Willow as well as interview preparations for Deloitte. Did I forget to mention school? That was thrown in there somewhere.

Needless to say my stress level hit new a high.

We just had the pre-party for the line on Friday at the Versace boutique in Beverly Hills, and everything was gone in the first fifteen minutes. It was a fun event and I met a lot of great LA fashionistas, stylists, and bloggers including Caroline, who writes for The Daily Truffle

Nearly Impossible November and Fall Quarter


Whether it’s something in the air or something in the water, Fall 2011 is turning out to be one of the most hectic (and amazing) quarters I’ve ever experienced. In the next few blog posts, I’ll take you through the projects that have made this a truly unforgettable time.


A quick shout out to the ever elusive SBTRKT who played at the Mondrian Sessions last month. It was a rare treat to see that mask up close. Only thing that would have completely blew my mind was if Yukimi made an appearance for "Wildfire". Didn't happen, but one can wish right? 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dance on an Art and Design Blog

Christopher Jobson of my favorite art and design blog, Thisiscolossal.com, explores a medium of art that I never expected to see on a mainly still art and design blog. Check out the fantastic post here. Kudos Christopher!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 2011 To Do List

1) Figure out post-graduation life

Saturday, October 1, 2011

One of the Best Moments in My Life

After five months of waiting, this picture has finally surfaced:

Standing with the Smiths and the Obamas
Two powerful families. One happy Karen.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Vincent the Yogi

    Vincent: such is life
    maybe you should spend more time thinking about the things you have to be happy for
that always helps
Me: yeah
that's what my yoga teacher says too 
   Vincent:  i should be a yoga teacher!

I'll let you know when he teaches his first class.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Takagi Masakatsu has a few works in the Trans-Cool Tokyo: Contemporary Japanese Art From MOT Collection at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. My favorite is his visually stimulating animation short "Bloomy Girls".

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Seediq Bale

I'm wondering if this film will ever make it to the US. It's about the Seediq people from the Atayal tribe in Taiwan during Japan's rule.



I've heard that I have a bit of Atayal blood in me because my grandmother's grandmother on my dad's side was an Atayal woman. They attribute my un-chinese features of bigger eyes and darker skin to this connection.

The first half of the 4 hour film is already playing in Taiwan, and the second half will be out on 9/30. It apparently was in the 68th Annual Venice Film Festival, which is a huge step for Taiwanese cinematography. Kudos to the director, Wei-Te Sheng!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Yoga in Taiwan

Weddings. Family time. Yoga?

Day 7 of my 16 day trip to Taiwan has resulted in some much needed family time and some unwanted intake of grease and oil (if anyone knows a good salad joint around here, shoot me an email). I've been on the hunt for a good yoga class, but the harder I try the worse the classes get. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but typing "ashtanga vinyasa yoga in Taipei, Taiwan" isn't as informative as I thought it would be. Here are some tips for those of you who just so happen to be looking for a yoga class in Taiwan:

-Don't go to a local "Dance and Yoga Studio" where the class is simply labeled "yoga". You'll be incredibly disappointed.
-True Yoga in Taipei and TaiChung is like a 24 Hour Fitness or Equinox targeting wannabe yogi and and dancers. They allow neither drop-ins nor non-Taiwanese citizen to take class (weird right?)
-Call before you go. Always always call before you go.

For the time being, I'll have to make do with practicing on my own. Sorry bro. Hope my ujjayi pranayama doesn't wake you.

A little Virabhadrasana II action on the Sun Moon Lake

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Employed.

Ecstatic to say that after two months of interning at Versace I was offered a paid position as the VIP/PR Assistant!

This job means a lot to me for a variety of reasons:

First, the position didn't exist before me which means that I'll be the first one to establish it and turn it into something amazing. 

Second, this was my first internship, and my first "real" job (aside from dance stuff).

Third, it's just cool. I mean come on. It's Versace. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bon Iver: Holocene


Who knew that such natural beauty still existed in the world?

Friday, August 12, 2011

My GMAT Frustrations

All my life I've been ahead of the curve in mathematics. I was doing algebra II/ trig by 6th grade, and finished calculus BC by junior year of high school.

Now, at a time when it matters the most, I'm sucking at math.

GMAT math is supposed to be easy. It's algebra, geometry, and number properties. Why then, is my quantitative percentile way below my verbal percentile?

I'm pulling in at 66%, which is really quite atrocious. I have one week to really master everything. I absolutely have to get it done.

America's Got Talent: Week 11 Night 2

Immediately following my trip to New York I was booked to dance on the show, "America's Got Talent". I've been dancing as a back-up dancer for it for the past three summers now, but the weird thing about this is that the only time I've ever auditioned for it was the first year I danced on it in 2009. I think I've been able to continue working on the show because of the artistic director, Brian Friedman. Brian is one of the most influential people in the commercial dance industry, and has been a huge role model for me throughout my dance career. I started learning from Brian when I was 13 years old at the convention Company Dance, and we've kind of been on continuously crossing paths since then. I assisted him (and the rest of the faculty) for The Pulse Dance Convention in 2008-2009 when I was Elite Protege, and have worked on a multitude of projects with him including Ava's music video in 2009.
I am quite lucky to have a professional relationship with Brian, and about 70% of my jobs have been with him. There is no doubt in my mind that he was the one making the executive decisions regarding dancers for "America's Got Talent". His loyalty to me and his confidence in my abilities are encouraging.

I am also lucky that my boss at Versace is not only understanding but also supportive of my dance career. She let me take time off my internship so that I could rehearse on Monday and Tuesday and tape on Wednesday. I don't think any other internship would have allowed me to do this.

The choreographers for this results episode were Janelle Ginestra and Dejan Tubic. The two are an up and coming duo of young artists who are fun and full of personality. I really enjoyed working with them! The three days with them were great, but tiring. Tuesday was exceptionally difficult because I had my internship from 10-1PM right before rehearsal from 2-8PM and after rehearsal studied at Coral Tree Cafe from 9-11PM.

I feel really strongly about Youtube stars, but I'll keep my opinions to myself for now. I performed with Keenan Cahill and Rebecca Black (click on the names to watch the performances).

Performing "Friday"
Me and the Youtube Sensation herself, Rebecca Black

The dancers with Janelle and Dejan

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

KC in NYC: Day 4 and 5

My last two days in NYC were filled with more food and more fun.

Having had a more than full night's rest (I think we slept 10 hours), Harry and I headed to Grape and Grain for some brunch. I ordered my usual yogurt and granola:


The fruit was fresh and I liked the almond silvers, but they should have used greek yogurt instead of non-fat vanilla. The iced coffee had a wonderful nutty coffee flavor to it and was a huge upgrade on the normal watered down and flavorless kind from a coffee chain. 

After brunch Harry and I walked the High Line. It was raining, but that made it a little more romantic and fun. We ended up in a food court full of food trucks and sampled some funky kimchi tacos:

Each taco was about 5-6 inches in diameter
I had the edamame and tofu falafel kimchi taco; it might sound strange but the textures were fun and the flavors were well balanced. 

At around 11PM we headed out for dinner at Eataly. Nestled right in the Flat Iron District of New York, this place has only been open for about a month but has already built up quite the reputation. The salmon was incredible, and paired with a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc, I think I was in heaven. The overall feel of the place is casual and comfortable, and it certainly is a place you would want to take your friends. We  even made friends with the manager, Miguel. He was generous and gifted us each a glass of dessert wine. That really put the cherry on top of an already perfect sundae. 

KC in NYC: Day 3

Another day in New York meant that I went on another amazing adventure.

I woke up early to try to beat the crowds at the Met. Ideally, I would've made it to the museum by 9AM and been first in line for the McQueen exhibit. Unfortunately I didn't leave my hotel until about 9:15AM and got to the museum around 9:40AM. By then the museum had closed the McQueen line to the public until further notice.

It's funny how having prior knowledge of something makes a museum experience that much better. I had taken a Classics class at school this Spring quarter, and so I learned about the various art that existed between the Bronze Age and the first few centuries AD. I got excited when I saw kraters, amphoras, and lekythos.

This was in my textbook! Sadly, I couldn't remember its name.

Rooftop of the Met

I see Lanvin and Chanel. Come on Versace, where's your book at?
I finally got into the McQueen exhibit and was blown away. This was an example of how all museum experiences should be like. It played on nearly all the senses (except for smell and of course, touch). There were 11 rooms filled with pieces from various collections during McQueen's career as a design genius. I wouldn't do the exhibit any justice trying to explain or describe it, but here is where you can get more information. After a satisfying 7 hours at the museum I strolled back to Central Park and met up with Harry. It was a surreal experience sitting in a beautiful park eating gourmet sushi at dusk on a Friday. 

Later that evening, Harry, Roxanne, Diego, and I went to PUBLIC, a Michelin rated restaurant in East Village. The food was phenomenal. I recommend the hearty lentil salad and a glass of their shiraz. Their "Manuka Mule" was also quite tasty. From there, we headed to Elsa Bar. It's a great place if you're looking for a fun setting and a fun crowd.

Friday, August 5, 2011

KC in NYC: Day 2

My call time wasn't until 1 PM so I decided to go for a jog. I wanted to check out the ticketing situation at the Met so I trekked through Central Park to the museum.

I think that jog in the park really made me fall in love with New York. Yeah, it's an oasis within a steel and concrete jungle, but it is that little bit of nature that perfectly balances the city life I love.
FYI on Met admissions: its donation based! There is a suggested donation, but what you end up donating is up to you. You could donate more or less depending on how much you want to support the museum.

After my jog and a $80 shopping spree later, it was time for work. We shot the episode at the New Amsterdam Theater. Everyone was absolutely wonderful. Kenton Duty from Shake It Up was a joy, and even the make up artist, Ronnie was delightful.

Me and Kenton Duty. Check out "Shake It Up" on Disney!
Best part of it all? I got to watch "Mary Poppins"! It was incredible. I hadn't seen the movie before and didn't realize how much social commentary it had. There was probably twenty set changes throughout the performance and the special effects were fun. I thought the dancing could have been tighter and stronger, but maybe I'm being too critical.

After our respective days of hard work (his probably harder) Harry and I went to a fantastic Cuban place in East Village called Cien Fuegos . I got these blue corn vegetable empanadas that were absolutely divine and a glass of Shiraz. Perfect ending to a perfect day.

YAY! My one and only day of work is over; now time for more play!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

KC in NYC: Day 1

The magic of Disney has brought me to New York! We're promoting the Broadway musical "Mary Poppins", which has been running for five years.

I feel incredibly lucky too because
I was already planning on making a trip out to NY in August. I get to work, visit NY, and see loved ones; all for free and while getting paid. #win

Of course, the first thing I did was look for a farmers market. I stumbled upon one in Union Square Park. It was expensive, but I loved it anyways.

Harry took me to Maoz, this delicious falafel chain that's kind of revolutionizing fast food. LA people: think better and healthier version of Bella Pita.



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Magazine and Newspaper Articles

It's fun to have things written about you, and even more fun to have them published somewhere. UCLA's newspaper, The Daily Bruin, wrote an article about me in 2010 after they found out that I was a "Vocal Adrenaline" dancer on "Glee".

Daily Bruin: A&E

To be honest I didn't think it was that big of a deal. Being on the show wasn't really the pinacle or the highlight of my career. It would've been a more interesting article if they had written about me touring with Willow and Bieber. Then again, that was only a year ago and I don't think they want to write about the same girl twice.

I also completely forgot that "Dance Spirit Magazine" wrote a little piece on me in 2009:

It felt awesome to be recognized by a national magazine. I mean, it's easy for news to travel around a college campus so I didn't think it was that crazy for someone in the "Daily Bruin" to find out about my dancing. But to be noticed and recognized out of the hundreds of thousands in the entire dance community? That's remarkable!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Marie et Cie: Where You Can Find Me Every Wednesday

My internship as a VIP/PR Intern at Versace has been quite enjoyable. My boss, Jessica, is probably the coolest and well-dressed boss anyone could have. She lets me leave after I finish all my work and lately I've been done around 2 or 3. Not too shabby huh?

Ive been trecking over the hill to Marie Et Cie, an amazing gem of a coffee shop with lots of delicious goodies, amazing coffee, and ample study space. They have vegan sandwiches (YAY) and even a "Healthy Line" of muffins made of whole wheat flour and agave syrup including: Blueberry, Dark Chocolate, Banana Bran, etc. Today, I splurged for an Almond Apricot Muffin (Ill let you know how it goes). I spend my afternoons GMAT studying, then head to Debbie Reynolds or Millennium for a class.

I figured the drive from Westwood to NoHo at 5PM is way more treacherous than at 2PM. I might as well get over here early and enjoy a magnificent three hours of outdoor studying. And in today's case, a "healthy" muffin and an iced coffee.

Check out Marie Et Cie on Riverside and Colfax. Trust me. It's good.



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Disney 365: Shake it Up

I got to film another Disney 365 yesterday featuring Adam Irigoyen and Caroline Sunshine from "Shake It Up", and it was really fun to be a 13 year old burst of sunshine again.

We shot the episode on the Shake it Up set in downtown Los Angeles, and it was interesting for me to compare the actors' experience with "Shake it Up" with my experience with "Dance on Sunset." The two are very similar in that they are both about dance and target the young teen market. I began thinking about Disney and Nickelodeon, which are two networks competing for the same audience. I immediately thought of how much more marketing, and presumably money, Disney puts in to their projects than Nickelodeon does in to theirs. Not only is Shake it Up (only in its first season) promoted heavily on the Disney website, but it also is actively being advertised with a new Disney.com feature called "Create". Disney also chose to include it in Disney 365, which is like a mini news-blurb of Disney related products, shows, and upcoming events. Although I cannot confidently explain why "Dance on Sunset" was cancelled in 2008, I do wonder about the funding and effort that was put into the show. Maybe things would have been different if Disney had backed "Dance on Sunset" instead of Nickelodeon, but that is a hypothesis that will never be tested.

Caroline asked me how many episodes of Disney 365 I had done, and I honestly couldn't tell her off the top of my head. I think my relationship with Disney 365 is reaching its 1 year anniversary this September and I am proud to say I have done 5 episodes with the production group, M3 Creative so far:

1) Disney 365: Kingdom Keepers 3 -- September 2010 in Florida
2) Disney 365: Halloween Parks -- October 2010 in Florida
3) Disney 365: Dancing with the Stars -- 2011 in Los Angeles
4) Disney 365: Skating with the Stars -- 2011 in Los Angeles
5) Disney 365: Bibiddi Bobiddy Boutique/Royal Wedding -- April 2011 in Los Angeles

People joke a lot with me about how I look and how I act on the show, but hey, it's called acting. 


I'm not sure if any of the episodes are on youtube or on the Disney website, but they certainly do air on the network. Next time you're watching Disney and you see an over-excited and younger-than-normal looking Karen, it's probably me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

UCLA: Bike Friendly?

Yeah right. I think the number of "Dismount Zone" signs is greater than the number of bikes on campus. Okay, a gross exaggeration on my part but it certainly is silly of the school to put this up. I wonder what prompted them to do so?


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Willow Smith: 21st Century Girl



Visit from a very special man: Jackie Chan!
Had an awesome time filming 21st Century girl in January. The song and video just came out, woohoo!

Check it out and download the song!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

3 Peat: Battle Royale 2011

Every single year the fraternity Omega Sigma Tau puts on an event called, "Battle Royale." It's a competition that pits the three UCLA hip hop teams against each other in a battle for the title of "best hip hop group on campus." The competition has been happening for 7 years now, and Samahang Modern had dominated for a majority of those years. For the first time in 2009 (my first year as well), NSU took first place at the competition with our "Tribal" set. We swept the competition again in 2010 with our "Monsters" set. 

The competition was extremely tough this year, and each team put on an amazing show. Honestly, I thought that every single team came harder and stronger than they had in the past. I was really nervous going in to it. No team had ever won Battle Royale three years in a row; that coupled with the intensity and hunger that each team brought made it nerve racking night.

In the end, there was nothing that could stand in the way of my team's energy and talent. NSU took home the glove, and I was ecstatic.


Friday, April 29, 2011

I.AM.FIRST with Willow in St. Louis

The Black Eyed Peas sponsored a major robotics convention in Missouri, and Willow was invited to perform at the closing ceremony. Arrived in the morning at 5AM, slept until 11AM studied until 5PM, and then performed for a crowd of about 3000 robotics enthusiasts and builders. Didn't think they'd be responsive to our performance, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Met a few members of the Black Eyed Peas and then got to watch them perform! Way cool of them (espeically Will.I.Am) to be advocating education and interest in the sciences/engineering. Kudos!





Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Midterms and Ladybug Love

Studying hard to get midterm number two in the bag. Taxes suck. Accounting must suck too.

Stress level is high until these little critters crawl onto my book. Don't know why, but I'm totally zen because of them. Thanks springtime cheer.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Best Easter Ever

Just met President Obama. Greetings from the White House Easter Egg Roll!



DC Airport Shuttles

Are they out of a Star Wars? Trash cars from Tatooine?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fusion 2011

I was so proud of my team, NSU Modern for smashing it at Fusion 2011. Thank you to everyone who pushed through the longs hours, who stayed up until 2AM to practice, and who helped make our set a success!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Last Day in London

Moral of this picture: there are NO trash cans in London.

Coffee joint in Camden. Which came first: Me or the poster in the back?

Portobello Market on a Saturday

High Tea at The Dorchester. Posh.

New security force: Darby, Gav, and Karen.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

London Show 2

London Show 2

Top Shop

Guess which one was mine?

  
Dinner with Aubs, Rob, and Mad Dog at Maroush   



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thanks for the Reminder

Before crossing the street...
I don't know about you, but I think I learned about "looking both ways before crossing the street" when I was a child.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

En Route back to London

My new hobby: Knitting
What should I do on a six hour drive from Newcastle to London? My finals papers? GMAT homework?

Nope. I'm going to knit.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Welcome to Dublin: Home of Beer, Bread, and Bars

Temple Bar
Aubree Storm
They're just birds Jade.
Aubs and I went full out at The Pig's Ear. Michelin recommended!